The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America commenced its fifth annual meeting on Monday, September 15, 2014 with a Pan-Orthodox clergy-laity gathering in Dallas, TX. Some 200 people attended, including more than 30 bishops representing the member jurisdictions of the Assembly.
The evening began with a Doxology—a service of thanksgiving—presided over by the Chairman of the Assembly, His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios of America. He welcomed those in attendance, remarking that the Doxology was an opportunity to thank God for all His gifts and for bringing the Assembly together once again. He expressed his wish that the evening would make the faithful more aware of the sacred and great work that the Lord is doing through the Assembly.
Following the Doxology, a panel of bishops answered questions submitted by those in attendance. Questions pertained to the work of the Assembly, including youth ministry, inter-church relations, evangelism and outreach, and challenges facing the Orthodox Church today, including questions of language, administrative reorganization, and the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Five bishops were on the panel: Archbishop Demetrios (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America); His Grace, Bishop Basil (Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America); His Grace, Bishop John (Russian Orthodox Church in the USA), His Eminence, Archbishop Nicolae (Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese); and His Grace, Bishop Gregory (American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese). The panel was moderated by Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonides, a member of the Assembly’s Secretariat.
The evening concluded with a meal and fellowship in the church hall.
The Assembly is grateful to the parish of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, which hosted the event, and the numerous Orthodox parishes in the Dallas area that helped make the evening fruitful.
The event was professionally videotaped and will be available on the Assembly’s web site in the near future.
The Assembly’s official deliberations began on Tuesday, September 16, after a morning Divine Liturgy and memorial service for His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of blessed memory, who passed away in March 2014.